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Tagged with: rickettsia

Migratory Songbirds Transport New Ticks & Pathogens Across the Gulf

10/21/2015

Excerpt: "An invasion of 19 million ticks. It might sound like the plot of a horror movie, but it’s real, and it happens every spring as migratory songbirds transport ticks — and the pathogens they carry — into the United States.

As covered previously on Cool Green Science, researchers from The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) and Texas A&M University are trying to figure out just how many ticks and tick-borne pathogens neotropical songbirds are transporting from Central and South America during their annual migration.

And now they have an answer. Their results, recently published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, reveal that neotropical songbirds are transporting an estimate of more than 19 million non-native ticks species into the country each year."

Why infectious disease research needs community ecology

09/04/2015

BACKGROUND: Despite ongoing advances in biomedicine, infectious diseases remain a major threat to human health, economic sustainability, and wildlife conservation. This is in part a result of the challenges of controlling widespread or persistent infections that involve multiple hosts, vectors, and parasite species. Moreover, many contemporary disease threats involve interactions that manifest across nested scales of biological organization, from disease progression at the within-host level to emergence and spread at the regional level. For many such infections, complete eradication is unlikely to be successful, but a broader understanding of the community in which host-parasite interactions are embedded will facilitate more effective management. Recent advances in community ecology, including findings from traits-based approaches and metacommunity theory, offer the tools and concepts to address the complexities arising from multispecies, multiscale disease threats.

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